It may be used to date a wide range of natural and man-made materials.
Fossils may be dated by taking samples of rocks from above and below the fossil's original position.
The man's body was recovered and pieces of tissue were studied for their C content by accelerator mass spectroscopy.
Radiometric dating methods are used to establish the geological time scale.
Elements exist in different isotopes, with each isotope of an element differing in the number of neutrons in the nucleus.
Radiometric dating (often called radioactive dating) is a way to find out how old something is.
The method compares the amount of a naturally occurring radioactive isotope and its decay products, in samples. It is the main way to learn the age of rocks and other geological features, including the age of the Earth itself.
Among the best-known techniques are radiocarbon dating, potassium-argon dating and uranium-lead dating.